The paper "Concept of Project Management" is a good example of management coursework. A project is a sequence of tasks that are planned from beginning to end. These tasks are bounded by time, resources, and the required results (Meredith & Mantel, 2011). There are quite a number of characteristics that make projects different from any other business activities. This paper will address these characteristics in detail. In addition, the need for engaging the top management in project management will also be discussed citing the importance of the project managers being supported by the top management.
In the final section, this paper will address the functional and the matrix organization matrix in relation to project management where both the advantages and disadvantages of these structures will be highlighted. Unlike any other business, projects are a means by which change is introduced. This is however based on the overall objectives of a given project and how it will be managed until the closure of the project. Most of the other business activities are driven by the sole purpose of revenue collection and profit maximization. Another aspect that makes projects different is that projects are temporary in nature.
The implication for this is that once the required change is implemented, business as usual resumes and any need associated with the project is removed. All the relationships established during the project by suppliers, participants, customers, competitors, and other stakeholders are therefore temporary just like the project itself (Reiss, 2007). These relationships cease to exist upon the completion of a project. This is the reason why projects should have a defined start and a defined end. Projects are cross-functional in nature as they involved people with different levels of skills working together on a temporary basis to bring change that affects others who are outside the project management team. Projects are unique in nature.
An organization may initiate many similar projects, and establish a proven pattern of project activity but each one will be unique in some way. The uniqueness arises in the form of having a different team, a different client, different objectives, and different locations (Kerzner, 2009). All these factors combined make every project unique in nature. Unlike other businesses, there is a lot of uncertainty in projects.
The characteristics that have already been mentioned, introduce threats and opportunities to a project and hence making it a more risky venture than business as usual. Projects have defined start and defined end. Once a project has been initiated, its closure is projected and is quite clear from the beginning where a specific time frame is identified. It is simply an issue of getting out of the activity as soon as the projected objectives are achieved. This characteristic is quite unique for projects as most businesses are established with a hope of continuing with them so long as conditions remain favorable or when the projected profits are realized (Meredith & Mantel, 2011).
Once projects are closed there is a very limited chance for such a project to be repeated again as opposed to normal business activities where a business may be repeated in future. For a project, all that should remain is the product of the project and the satisfied stakeholders.
Daft, R. (2009). Organization theory and design. California: Cengage Learning.
Gareth, J. (2009). Organizational Theory, Design, and Change. New York: Routledge.
Kerzner, H. (2009). Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Meredith, J., & Mantel, S. (2011). Project Management: A Managerial Approach. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Reiss, G. (2007). Project Management Demystified. Boston: Routledge.